IBM and Boston Children's Hospital are building a cloud-based platform for teaching and practicing pediatric medicine around the world. The initiative is designed to improve the exchange of medical knowledge on the care of critically ill children everywhere.
"Every year, nearly 7 million children under age 5 die from illnesses like pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria despite the availability of life-saving medical solutions," the two organizations said in a statement. OPENPediatrics is designed to equip doctors and nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to save the lives of children who would not otherwise have access to intensive care. In the future, content will extend beyond critical care.
The platform was developed at IBM Labs in Cambridge, Mass. IBM provides technology infrastructure including social networking, cloud, data analytics, video, and simulation technologies. Content is supplied by Boston Children's Hospital.
IBM is the sole sponsor of Internet Evolution.
"Nothing breaks down walls and brings people together like caring for a critically ill child," said Jeffrey Burns, MD, MPH, chief of Critical Care Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, in a statement. The two companies said:
OPENPediatrics was conceived after Dr. Burns received a phone call from a pediatrician in Guatemala who needed advice while caring for a girl with a serious infection. After helping the physician complete treatment, the girl survived. Dr. Burns wanted to open this type of critical care dialogue between physicians around the world.
Early reports show that OPENPediatrics is changing the course of treatment. One physician in Israel reported that OPENPediatrics video demonstrations helped him master a feeding tube procedure, to ensure adequate nutrition and hydration in critically ill children and at the Fundación Aldo Castañeda in Guatemala, physicians using OPENPediatrics learned new ways to avoid infections, resulting in a new infection prevention program. In its pilot phase, OPENPediatrics is being used by more than 1,000 doctors and nurses in 74 countries on six continents.
OPENPediatrics can work online or offline, loaded onto a PC or thumb drive, to allow doctors in remote locations with low bandwidth to access or share the data. It syncs with the most up-to-date information when connected to the Internet. Version 1.0 is expected later this year.
Separately, Inland Northwest Health Services turned to IBM cloud services for patient care for 40 hospitals and 750 physicians in the northwest United States.
The application covers hospital operations, patient admission, pharmacy orders, lab services, and patient clinical information, Chad Skidmore, director of INHS, said in a statement.
The application uses servers, storage, and management software from IBM.
INHS is seeking to relieve pressure on its existing IT infrastructure. The organization is growing by 25 percent annually, and rapidly rolling out new services, which significantly increases transaction volume.
"These combined demands were growing faster than their existing server and storage infrastructure could handle, driving a need to increase system efficiency and utilization," IBM and INHS said in a joint statement. Also, INHS wanted to reduce the real estate requirements of its datacenter, as well as power consumption and cooling requirements.
About 95 percent of INHS's 1,200 servers are virtualized. Benefits include:
- Increased uptime.
- Doubled performance for end-users.
- Meeting or exceeding service level requirements.
- Flexibility to respond to changing business demand, with the ability to add new storage without downtime or loss of service to INHS customers.
- Datacenter capacity increased while floor space was reduced by 28 percent and overall power consumption remains steady.
— Mitch Wagner , Editor in Chief, Internet Evolution